Open main menu

Mountainsmith Frostfire II

rated 3.5 of 5 stars

The Frostfire II has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best expedition packs for 2021.


Price Reviewers Paid: $210.00-$257.00


10 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   3
3-star:   2
2-star:   2
1-star:   1

Decent bag and a reputable company stands behind it.


  • Decent size
  • Adjustable
  • Warranty


  • Weight

I've had this bag forever. Used and abused it during scouting as a young kid (14-18 yr old). When I pulled it out of storage to start getting back into the outdoors I found out some of the plastic clips have become brittle and when I went to adjusted them they snapped.

I shot a quick e-mail to Mountainsmith. Not expecting much for such an old bag I was blown away when they APPROVED WARRANTY REPAIRS on the bag! My jaw dropped because I was half expecting to have to purchase a new pack.

Pack rids well when adjusted.

Pack stuffs well for just being a big tube.

Lots of adjustment to get the perfect fit.

Yadda yadda yadda I like this bag.

Source: received it as a personal gift

Okay, I've heard complaints and criticisms over the years about this pack, and quite honestly I don't understand all the whining.

I bought my pack in 1995 or 1996. It was on sale, and I thought Mountainsmith was a reputable company. I tried out the pack in the store and looked at the construction: It looked solid. And, in my judgment of the pack over the years it has been a gem. I used to use it on the trail, but life has made extended trip very infrequent now. So I use the pack for travel a lot, which can be tougher on a backpack than bushwhacking.

I remember, after buying the bag, my friend told me he knew a guy whose Frostfire disintigrated on the trail, but my pack is virtually in the same condition today as it was when I bought it.

When I pack it, I pack it reasonably; I don't over pack it. I readjust the straps everytime I take off the pack. And, I only wash the pack by hand. I think these are some reasons for the packs longevity. Granted, I haven't used the pack as much as some hikers use their equipment, but I believe I got my $150-175 out of the thing.

I still think Mountainsmith is a good company with moderate prices compared to other companies like North Face (shady packs!), Mountain Hardware, and Dana Design (with these, however, you pay for what you get from what I hear.)

Well that's my 2 cents.

Size: 6,000 +
Height of Owner: 5' 5"
Price Paid: Can't Remember

Something of a disappointment considering the glowing recommendation that caused me to buy it in the first place.

* Never quite got the suspension system to work well enough for my needs.

* Straps securing the pack to the alumninum stays tended to slip of the tops -- had to readjust them regularly.

* Hip belt tended to slip matter how "by-the-book" I made the adjustments.

* Looked and felt like an overstuffed potatoe sack -- lumps and all -- when fully loaded.

On the other hand, I gave it to my college-age son...and he's apparently happy with it. So it goes.

Perhaps Mountainsmith has improved things since (I bought this in '94). Wouldn't get another though.

Design: Internal
Size: 6000+
Number of Pockets: not enough
Max. Load Carried: 60lbs
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $215 --several years ago

This is an earlier version. Pre-tape measure style. '94-'95. I took several frustrating trips before I finally "dialed in" the straps to fit me.

I am comfortable with 35.0-40.0 lbs. Beyond that the the adjustments at the top of the metal rib inserts start unsnapping. I had to duct tape them to keep the pack working.

I'll take a Mountainsmith again.

Design: internal
Max. Load Carried: 44.0lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'10"

I bought this pack around Christmas of '96. I love this pack. It has everything you could want!! It has every bell and every whistle.

Some of the highlights of this pack are/is the suspension!! It can be fit to each side of your body. It also has a handy map pocket. (or so that's what i use it for) The suspension!! wow!! i tested it out by loading it up and jumping on my trampoline!! The sucker didn't buge at all around my back!! The only thing i would add to it is interchangeable parts. Which mountainsmith has done this year.

It is a great pack FOR ME!! REMEMBER THAT: IT ISN'T HOW IT LOOKS. IT ISN'T HOW IT FEELS ON YOUR NEIGHBOOR. IT IS HOW IT FITS ON YOU!! You are the only one who can get the right fit!

Design: Internal
Size: 5800
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'9"
Price Paid: $257

When I bought this pack I was stoked. I thought I did my homework on it. Not so. I have yet to be impressed with it.

I took it for three months in the Amazon jungle and the Andes Mtns. The suspension system is nice, but the lumbar support kept slipping out of its sleave. This would make the entire pack ride wrong on my back. It was always leaning to one side.

The fact that it does not have a shelf over the sleeping bag compartment was also a pain. I was always craming my gear back up to get my bag back in.

The pack is kinda on the heavy side also.

There are so many straps everywhere. Too many! Even the water holsters are hard to get at. Sorry Mtn.Smith, thumbs down from this mountaineer.

I traded it in for a new Lowe Alpine Crossfire 90-15. It rocks, check it out for yourself. I'm using it for a long expedition in Africa this summer!

Catch ya on a trail sometime.

Size: 6700
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 75
Height of Owner: 6'2
Price Paid: $229

A very comfortable pack with lots of bells and whistles.

Some of the stitching on the suspension seems inadequate but after two years of constant abuse I've never had a problem!

Design: Internal Frame Dual Aluminum Stays
Size: 6172 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 2 in top flap, shovel pocket, and dual water bottle holsters
Max. Load Carried: 65 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 11
Price Paid: $230

I love this pack. I have been using it for extended backcountry, climbing and traditional backpacking.

Design: internal frame
Size: 6172cui
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 73lbs
Height of Owner: 5 ,11"
Price Paid: $351 cdn

This pack did not fit me very well at all. The stays had height measurements on them but it seemed like they were more like selling gizmos rather than really useful. I have recently switched to a Dana Terraplane and it made a world of difference.

Design: internal
Size: 6500
Number of Pockets: 1 top top loading
Max. Load Carried: 60 lbs
Height of Owner: 5 11
Price Paid: $250

Owned this pack for several years. I'm happy with the pack in general, although Mountainsmith does seem to go overboard with straps and gizmos. Pack has performed well and suffered much abuse without complaint.

Design: Internal Frame
Size: 6172 cu. in. (approx.)
Number of Pockets: 1 big one, plus the top flap pocket
Max. Load Carried: 60 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5' 11"
Price Paid: $210

You May Like

Recently on Trailspace

FORLOH Deep Space Half Zip Long Sleeve Top Review

Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Double Knee Pants Review

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Toilet Kit Wag Bag Review

Haglofs Heron Jacket Review

Garmin Alpha 100 Review